Frank Kohlenstein begins his 19th season as head coach of the Colorado School of Mines men's soccer program in 2016.
A seven-time RMAC Coach of the Year (2000-02, 2006, 2009-10, 2015), Kohlenstein ranks as the all-time winningest men's soccer coach at Mines, holding an overall record of 221-114-35 and .659 winning percentage since 1998. He has led the Orediggers to 13 or more wins six times, 12 consecutive winning seasons, 16 straight conference tournament appearances and six NCAA postseasons.
Kohlenstein led Mines to arguably its greatest season under his tenure as they finished the 2015 season with an 18-1-3 overall record and 9-0-1 mark in conference action while finishing No. 9 in the final NSCAA National Poll. The Orediggers went on to sweep the RMAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships, won the South Central Region Championship and advanced to the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Nikolaus Grotz was named NSCAA Third-Team All-American while he, Ryan Leach and Richard Garvey were selected as D2CCA All-Americans. Mines also swept all the major RMAC awards, and placed five on the NSCAA All-South Central Region squad. Kohlenstein was named the RMAC and South Central Region Coach of the Year.
Mines closed the 2014 campaign 12-7-1 – all seven losses were decided by one goal, including three in overtime – and 9-5-0 in the RMAC for a second straight season.
The men debuted No. 25 in the final regular season NSCAA top-25 following their third conference tournament championship since 2010, a stirring 4-3 shootout decision against Colorado Colorado Springs in Grand Junction.
CSM finished 11-7-1 and runner-up in the RMAC at 9-5-0 in 2013, reaching No. 6 in the national poll before earning an at-large bid to its fifth NCAA tournament in program history and fourth in five seasons.
Two-time RMAC and South Central Region Player of the Year and eventual Major League Soccer draftee Tesho Akindele repeated as a First Team All-American by the NSCAA and Daktronics, while three others were recognized on the all-region squads.
Akindele became the first Mines men’s soccer player and highest-ever Division II selection at the MLS SuperDraft in January, going No. 6 overall to FC Dallas.
The Orediggers advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in 2012, capturing the RMAC Tournament for the second time in three seasons with a 4-3 upset of previously unbeaten and No. 1 Regis. Despite the toughest schedule in Division II, Mines closed at 14-5-2 (9-3-2 RMAC) and ranked No. 21 in the final NSCAA Top-25 Coaches Poll.
Mines went 11-7-1 overall and 8-5-1 in conference play in 2011, progressing to the semifinals of the RMAC tournament before succumbing to eventual national champion, Fort Lewis. CSM defeated two top-25 foes en route to its 11th winning season in 12 years and 12th consecutive conference tourney berth, and received votes in the final NSCAA rankings.
Kohlenstein directed the men to arguably one of the best seasons in school history in 2010. Dubbed the NSCAA/Mondo Central Region Coach of the Year for the second straight season, he guided the Orediggers to the No. 1 ranking for four consecutive weeks – the first athletics program at Mines to hold the top spot.
The men broke the single-season wins record, finishing 17-2-2 (12-1-1 RMAC) and No. 9 in the NSCAA top-25; swept the RMAC regular season and tournament titles and earned the program’s first NCAA tournament win, a 5-1 first round defeat of No. 11 Regis. Mines led all of Division II in scoring offense at 3.24 goals per game.
In 2009, he steered the Orediggers to their second NCAA postseason berth, ending the season 15-3-4 (11-2-1 RMAC) and No. 18 nationally. In addition to ushering in CSM Soccer Stadium with a 5-1 win over Northwest Nazarene in the season opener, Kohlenstein moved ahead of predecessor Bob Pearson on the program’s all-time wins list with his 126th triumph at Upper Iowa on Sept. 4.
During the 2008 campaign, CSM went 9-8-3 overall and qualified as the third seed in the conference tournament at 7-4-3. Led by five All-RMAC selections, including NSCAA Third Team All-American Jason Decker, the Orediggers made multiple stints in the Division II top-25, ranking as high as 16th.
Mines finished 2007 at 11-9-2 (7-6-1 RMAC) and advanced to the RMAC Tournament final for the second time in three seasons. Three Orediggers earned All-RMAC recognition, including Craig Thompson, who was unanimously voted First Team All-RMAC as well as RMAC Player of the Year and Academic Player of the Year. Thompson, Nick Kubala and Ross Davis each garnered All-Midwest Region praise as well.
The Orediggers tallied a 13-7-1 overall record in 2006, taking third place in the RMAC with a 9-3-0 mark. Mines landed six all-conference selections and three All-Midwest Region picks.
In 2005, CSM made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament where it advanced to the second round via penalty kicks against No. 3 Incarnate Word, before ending the season 13-7-4 (6-4-2 RMAC) with a 1-0 setback to No. 1-ranked and eventual national champion, Fort Lewis.
The Orediggers ended 2004 at 10-4-5 overall and inside the top-three of the conference standings for the fifth straight season, finishing third at 7-3-2.
From 2000 to 2003, the men’s soccer program reached unprecedented heights under Kohlenstein, boasting a 52-26-6 record (37-10-2 RMAC) with three RMAC regular season titles (2000, 2002-03) and one RMAC Tournament championship. The Orediggers won the first regular season crown in 2000 (14-4-4; 9-2-1 RMAC), while the 2002 squad became the school’s first to sweep the regular season and tournament championships and just the fourth in RMAC history to accomplish the feat.
The first head coach of the Colorado School of Mines women’s soccer program, Kohlenstein quickly turned the Orediggers into a conference and national power, accumulating an overall record of 55-36-9, including 32-15-6 in the RMAC during his five-year tenure (2005-09). The Orediggers made three trips to the RMAC Tournament (2007-09) and earned two at-large berths to the NCAA postseason (2008-09).
Led by All-American Kayla Mitchell, Mines ranked seventh in the final top-25 ballot of 2009, winning the Central Region Championship and advancing to the Elite Eight – the furthest any team at CSM had progressed in NCAA tournament play.
Prior to his arrival in Golden, he served as head coach of the Raleigh Flyers in 1995 and Richmond Kickers in 1997, both of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues.
Previously, Kohlenstein spent 10 years as the gaffer at University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (1979-88), where he began the soccer program as a club sport in 1979 and eventually led the Rifles to three consecutive third-place finishes at the NAIA National Tournament between 1983 and 1985. Recognized as District Six Coach of the Year four times, he was named the NAIA Coach of the Year in 1983 and the NSCAA Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1984.
A 2001 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, he finished 128-45-11 at USCS, coaching 13 different NAIA All-Americans, nine NSCAA All-Americans, 13 NAIA All-Area and 21 NAIA All-District Six selections, and two NAIA District Six Players of the Year. He also oversaw a two-time Academic All-American and three academic all-district choices.
Kohlenstein became head coach at NCAA Division I University of North Carolina at Charlotte in July, 1989, a position he held for six seasons (1989-94). He quickly transformed the 49er program into a national power, posting a cumulative record of 77-32-12 and taking UNCC to a No. 2 national ranking in 1992 and back-to-back NCAA tournament berths in 1991 and 1992.
In 34 years at the helm, he has amassed a career record of 527-236-64 (.676), including 463-226-64 (.657) at the collegiate level.
In addition to taking five different teams on five different levels to the postseason, he has coached 37 All-Americans, 19 Academic All-Americans, one Rhodes Scholar, six National Team players and 165 all-conference honorees.
Kohlenstein received his undergraduate degree in physical education from Florida State in 1976 before going on to earn a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Montana State in 1977.
He and his wife, Debbie, reside in Golden.